Cumbrian schoolchildren will be getting a helping hand with their pocket money, thanks to an exciting new initiative between the Cumberland Building Society and international tech company EVERFI from Blackbaud.
In a bid to help young people build their financial confidence and learn how to manage their money from an early age, the strategic partnership sees the introduction of a new mobile-first education resource entitled Vault: Understanding Money, which will be rolled out to 25 schools free-of-charge.
The Cumberland and EVERFI, a digital education innovator, have collaborated to create the dedicated programme designed specifically for nine to 11-year-olds.
They will be taught how to make sensible financial decisions, as well as learning bigger life skills such as goal-setting and responsible decision-making.
In a bid to engage the youngsters, Vault offers interactive lessons, taking the children on an immersive adventure.
The adventure features the merman Prince Azuli, who wants to plan his financial future but doesn’t know where to start; Karie Koolewong, a koala who ends up borrowing from her friends; and Gene E. Jones, a genie anxious about big changes.
Accredited with Young Enterprise’s prestigious Financial Education Quality Mark, Vault offers a library of learning topics, so by the end of the scheme the children will have all the essential knowledge needed to make smart decisions about how to make, save, and invest money.
One of the first schools to run the course is Grange C of E Primary School, where pupils are already looking forward to the next challenge with the characters.
The school is committed to helping its pupils become financially confident and capable, especially given the current financial climate.
Year six teacher Paula Whinfield explained: “The Vault course from EVERFI is fantastic because it has provided our older children with a stimulating digital platform through which to develop the critical skills of Financial Decision Making; Budget and Spending; Income and Careers; Credit and Borrowing, and Future Planning.
“The fact it is so easily accessible and free for schools, thanks to the sponsorship from the Cumberland, is fantastic.
“The Year six children are enjoying engaging with the interactive storytelling and have become immersed in helping the characters in solving a whole host of financial problems.
“They love applying their skills in the game section to enter the next world and are always excited to meet their new challenge! Already we have learned so much, and they can’t wait to carry on the journey!”
Mrs Whinfield added: “We want to create a culture where children understand and respect the value of money, make good financial decisions and promote financial well-being for the future.
“We also hope that by placing a greater emphasis on teaching Financial Literacy, children will gain a greater understanding of their rights and responsibilities and appreciate the difficult decisions that some families may face in the coming months.”
During its first year the scheme will be rolled out at 25 schools surrounding branches across Cumbria and north Lancashire.
Nigel Taylor, head of marketing and brand at Cumberland Building Society, said: “Having a good grasp of money management early in life is vital. We’re excited to work with EVERFI to provide a free learning programme that will help hundreds of children in our local schools achieve this important life skill.
“Our purpose is to create banking experiences that are kinder to people and planet, and this partnership is a great demonstration of our commitment to supporting the provision of financial education across our region.”
Nick Fuller, EVERFI International President, added: “Understanding your finances and making sound financial decisions is key to a strong future, but many people don’t know where to turn to get the information they need in a way that is easily digestible and understandable.
“This programme is a testimony to EVERFI’s commitment to providing financial education to learners of all ages and we commend Cumberland Building Society for making this commitment.”
If successful, it is hoped that the scheme may be expanded into a secondary school financial literary programme, to reach a broader range of ages.
To learn more about the programme, visit https://everfiteachers.co.uk/our-resources/vault/